Businesses from across the region have heard about an exciting new programme that will attract over £900,000 private investment and create 70 new products, as well as supporting 70 new jobs in the Tees Valley.
VentureFest Tees Valley, held at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, heard first-hand from Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) at Teesside University as she officially launched Grow Tees Valley, a programme aimed at helping SMEs to develop and grow.
Grow Tees Valley is financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The Grow Tees Valley team will work with businesses looking to improve or develop a product, embed a new service within their company, or enter new markets.
By carrying out a detailed business diagnostic, the team will identify any areas where a business would benefit from support. Businesses ready to explore product development could also potentially secure 50% funding from a Growth Spark grant, up to a maximum of £20,000.
The University’s Growth Associate programme, another strand of Grow Tees Valley, allows businesses to tap into a talented pool of graduates. They will also be supported by industry experts and academics, who can provide specialist advice as well as guiding them through the recruitment process to ensure they get the right candidate.
Professor Turner said: ‘It is a great privilege to be able to unveil our plans for Grow Tees Valley at VentureFest Tees Valley, an event that is specifically designed to help support small and medium-sized businesses and encourage them to thrive.
‘We are really excited to hear from businesses that are keen to develop and expand, and are confident that by matching our experts with businesses in the region we can attract investment and bring new products and services to market, as well as delivering a real employment boost to the area.’ Simon Green, CEO of VentureFest Tees Valley, added: ‘We were delighted to have Professor Turner with us today and for Grow Tees Valley to be launched as part of her keynote was a great coup.
‘We had over 200 businesses in attendance, ranging from start-ups to established organisations which meant it was the perfect audience mix for this type of announcement. We work very closely with Teesside University and are looking forward to seeing such a forward-thinking programme develop.
‘Along with the announcement, our impressive lineup of speakers meant that there was something for everyone today. With an address from the Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, keynotes from local and national investment and innovation figures and a live innovation challenge from housing provider Thirteen Group, it was an extremely busy but productive day with lots of new connections made.’
VentureFest Tees Valley is delivered by ed/ge with support from Teesside University.